Nonviolence Resource Center

Essays/meditations/reflections

...Auto-salvation from evil and its consequences is impossible for human beings. Therefore “Yahweh saves” (Yeshua, Jesus’ name in Hebrew, means “Yahweh saves”) or there is no salvation from evil and death. The Nonviolent God does this through His Nonviolent Word Incarnate—the Nonviolent Jesus...

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(Rev.) Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

This homily was delivered by Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, at the close of the Forty Day Fast for the Truth of Christian Nonviolence at St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, August 9, 1997. The end of the fast commemorates the date in 1942 that marks the execution Edith Stein (Sr. Teresia Benedicta of the Cross) by the Nazis at Auschwitz.

Sr. Teresia Benedicta of the Cross is Jesus' prophetic gift to His Churches because she voluntarily gives up all the accouterments of worldly power and wholeheartedly embraces the "powerless," unrealistic, vulnerable Cross of Christ-like love. She says, "Ave Crux," "Welcome Cross," not out of ignorance of alternatives nor out of defeatism. She exclaims with open arms, "Ave Crux" because she knows it is "spes unica," "our only hope"-the only power that can help, that can save.

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(Rev.) Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

It is baffling-considering the fact that the justifications for the war currently raging in Iraq have proven to be fraudulent and that 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed-to know that the spiritual and moral leadership of Christian Churches in the U.S. are not screaming "bloody murder." The only possible way this war cannot be bloody mass murder is if it meets the standards of the Christian Just War Theory. (It is certainly in direct contradiction to Jesus' teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, which is the only other ethical option available to Christians.) But, it doesn't come close to meeting Christian Just War standards either in the jus ad bellum or the jus in bello dimension of the so-called Christian Just War Theory. Beyond any reasonable doubt, it does not!

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P. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFMCap (Pontifical Household Preacher)

The beatitudes are a self-portrait of Jesus and thus, we should not only imitate them but also make them our own.

Father Cantalamessa's Lenten reflections have focused on the Eight Beatitudes; today's was: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." To understand the full meaning of meekness, the Pontifical Household preacher underlined two constant associations of the Bible and ancient Christian exhortations: meekness and humility, and meekness and patience. One shows the interior dispositions from which meekness springs; the other the attitudes one should have toward one's neighbor: affability, gentleness, courtesy.

The Gospels are the demonstration of Christ's meekness, in its dual aspect of humility and patience. The maximum proof of Christ's meekness is in his passion. There is no wrath, there are no threats: When he was reviled he did not revile in return, when he suffered, he did not threaten. But Jesus did much more than give us an example of meekness and heroic patience; he made of meekness and nonviolence the sign of true greatness.

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(Rev.) Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

Swearing an oath is as commonplace among Christians as killing the enemy in war. However, in Christian minds it is nowhere near as significant as going to war. In fact in Christian minds and Churches swearing an oath is so taken-for-granted that Church Canon law as well as state civil and criminal law utilize it ceaselessly without any spiritual or moral qualms or misgivings. The following essay is meant to address this perilous, yes, perilous, problem in the Christian Churches and in Christian consciousness. It is perilous because for the Christian-regardless of his or her status in the Church-oaths, whether secular or religious, rely for their efficacy on explicitly defying Jesus and implicitly giving false witness on behalf of a false God.

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